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Should we charge a cleaning fee?


#1

Hi Folks; just some background first - we’re an elderly couple in Lancaster UK - we have a spare room which we let on a B&B basis. We’ve been open for 18 months - we’ve just had our 50th guest - all reviews bar one have been 5*. We do AirBnB mainly because we enjoy meeting people - we’re not really in it for the money - we’ve set our calendar so there’s two nights between guests, and if we get 10 nights occupancy per month that’s OK with us. We charge £33 per night (single), with an extra £5 for a second guest (no extra cleaning or service charges). We get lots on one-nighters. We have very high-quality Egyptian bedding that has to be ironed after every wash (more-or-less expected here in the UK). As I said, we’re both elderly (70 this year) and a bit decrepit, and the cleaning and ironing is getting a bit much for us so we’ve been getting a cleaner in - we’d more-or-less have to do this anyway. We think the time has come to start charging a cleaning fee - we’re thinking along the lines of £5 per visit. Can I ask - do most people charge cleaning fees? - and given our location, etc, is £5 a visit excessive? Many thanks.


#2

I don’t for my ensuite room rental. I would if I had an entire place. I used to have a small cleaning fee to, in effect, make a two or three night stay a little cheaper since there is no way (yet) to automatically discount for anything less than a week. But after reading here that many people think a cleaning fee is a turn off, I took mine off and raised the price a bit.

Maybe you should have a two night minimum, especially on weekends and see how much that hurts your business. Or add a cleaning fee and take it off if it seems to hurt too much.

It’s not like you’re getting a tattoo. Just experiment and see what happens.


#3

Hello @southendbootboy

As with any place marketing, it doesn’t really matter what others internationally do, but what happens in your neck of the woods.

Where I live with a room in a house most people don’t charge the full cost of cleaning although they do for whole listings.

I charge a nominal £5 cleaning fee that doesn’t make me that out of kilter with everyone else’s prices.

I would also suggest you put a minimum two night stay at weekends. I have done this and it is so much easier not having to do so many turnarounds. If you don’t need the money you could just set minimum two night stay throughout. Unless you are an airport destination then you should be fine.

You’d be surprised lots of hosts in the UK don’t iron, just get yourself some duvets and pillow cases that don’t need ironing.

70 isn’t old at all my mother is in her mid 80’s goes to French, art appreciation and choir every week, goes to keep fit, travels, goes to the theatre, cinema and cooks three course meals for friends and family :slight_smile:


#4

Is that true? That’s a lot of time, effort and money. Sheets get ruined. It will happen if it hasn’t yet. I can’t imagine ironing sheets after every guest especially with mostly one night guests. We use microfiber sheets. They’re inexpensive, comfortable and no ironing needed. We have not had one complaint. In fact many compliment us on how comfortable they are. We are in the USA and do not charge a cleaning fee.


#5

You’re not in the UK @Mike_L many here only use cotton and always iron.


#6

I’m glad that I’m not!:smiley:


#7

Rather that then your funny sheet and duvet combo thing you have going on that side of the pond (runs and ducks for cover - don’t mention the bedding saga) :blush: :smile: :slight_smile:


#8

I am of the mind that you either charge a cleaning fee or put the minimum to two, or even three nights. Otherwise it is too exhausting.

I’ve always charged a cleaning fee. It’s a lot of work turning over my place. If I had to pay for it, it would be near $100, so I charge 85. But I do have a full apartment with kitchen and everything, plus a patio and garden to keep clean.

You have to do what is fair for yourselves. I also use a cotton blend sheet and never iron anything. I tried cotton when I first started out, and no kidding, they would be ruined after ONE set of guests. So no way.


#9

Yes you should certainly charge a cleaning fee. £5 sounds far too small an amount though. Here in my part of the US, I charge $15. But then I think your £33 per night is very small, so £5 is alright.


#10

It’s more that others around me charge about that so you can’t charge a lot more without becoming uncompetitive @KenH


#11

Yes, if I was renting out an entire place, I’d charge a cleaning fee. The OP is just renting one spare room in which case I would not the fee but many do.


#12

Hi folks - and many thanks for your contributions - this is such a helpful and friendly forum. Carol and I have read all the replies and have decided to go with the £5 cleaning fee, and also to set Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays as 2 nights minimum. We’re either booked or on holiday until the end of June so this will all kick in in July - we’ll see how it goes. To be honest, the continued succession of one-nighters is a bit of a pain! Thanks again.


#13

I’m in a major city in the US and charge a $25 cleaning fee. We accept 1 night stays and rent out private rooms. This fee goes to our cleaner, who does an excellent job. If we didn’t charge a cleaning fee, I don’t think we’d make the same profit. But we have very good reviews for cleanliness. In the house manual we also include an introduction to our cleaner and list her cleaning process. So I think that helps.


#14

I do my own cleaning most of the time and get 5 stars for cleanliness and a cleaner the rest of the time.

I don’t think it matters whether you use a cleaner or do it yourself - it’s the standard the place is kept clean to that matters

Do you offer a room in your home (which is what we are discussing?). Where I live people either don’t charge a cleaning fee or a small nominal amount like I do. So we would be way out of kilter if we charged the actual price of using a cleaner. In my case £25.00 pounds or so.


#15

Seventy is not elderly! I’m not there yet but in anticipation, I’m trying to persuade myself that seventy is the new forty. (Not that I’m winning much to date).

Just to add my two penn’orth, I’m in a tourist resort and renting out two one bedroom apartments. Both have a cleaning fee of $50, although I prefer to call it a preparation fee. (Per night price ranges from just over $100 to $300 but the $300 is for events and rare).

About $18 of that preparation fee goes on posh toiletries, arrival snacks, coffee, a few breakfast foods for the first morning and fresh flowers in the apartment. I do the cleaning myself.


#16

P.S. I do the cleaning even though I certainly don’t love doing it because a) I wouldn’t trust anyone else to do it as thoroughly and b) it keeps me fit without needing to go to a gym.

If only there were self-cleaning toilets though…


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